According to a survey, 85% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs (Cushman and Wakefield, 2017). “Flexibility is the driving force today for choosing a dream workplace” said Keith Knutsson of Integrale Advisors. Free communication channels and globalized networks, have allowed for the fast growing “Gig Economy,” which consists of 20-30% of the working population worldwide.
The term “Gig workers” refers to consultants, contractors, or temp workers. The following professions are changing the corporate landscape. Nowadays, companies can easily hire non-permanent employees (temps) on an as needed basis. These “independent workers” are enjoying a balance of freedom, flexibility, and work life. However, there are some consequences. Gig workers lack healthcare benefits and job security. Nevertheless, it is predicted that 40% of the global workforce will be independent contractors and ‘solopreneurs’ by 2020.
The impact of the gig economy will have a direct effect on workplace of the future. Globalization of work, global trade, and technology shifts have contributed to the rising gig economy.
Reasons for workers to choose independent work:
- Ability to turn down projects if uninterested.
- Freedom to choose type of work.
- Flexibility; when and where to work.
- Versatility; working on multiple projects for different clients.
Reasons for companies to hire independent workers:
- Lower office space costs.
- Reduced cost of healthcare and benefits.
- Ability to bring in skilled workers/expertise when needed.
- Scalability; ability to hire workers when necessary.
Analyzing the effect on the corporate environment:
Firms are redesigning their offices to provide fewer private offices and cubicles, and more open and collaborative space. There are two goals: 1) provide workplaces that facilitate collaboration and 2) decrease the firm’s overall rent expenses by providing less physical space per worker.
Companies have leased several million square feet of space in the past few years and that trend is expected to continue with the growth of the “gig” economy. This economy also impacts traditional corporate culture and the engagement of employees. When all employees are engaged, they are more likely to commit themselves to company goals and achieve higher levels of productions.
According to an analysis by Cushman and Wakefield, “65% of today’s school students will be doing jobs that don’t exist yet.” In addition to millennials rejecting traditional employment and choosing to work independently, artificial intelligence and robotics will also be more prevalent in the future. Businesses that will be successful in the future will be those who encourage adapt well to change.